My blogaversary – a short blog to discourage the ‘what if’! Just do it…



Today is my blogaversary! A blogaversary you might say…what random word has Dawn made up now to go with her random job title? Well a year ago today I posted my very first blog on WordPress entitled ‘A Smile Is the Best Curve on Your Body’. I vividly remember being on the verge of panic as I contemplated clicking ‘Publish’ as my newly formed thoughts hit cyberspace through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I was a nervous wreck. Hot flushes, trembling hands, proper anxiety in my chest…what was I doing? What if people didn’t like what I had to say? What if I got horrible comments? What if? What if? What if?

But there was a part of me, a bigger part that really liked what I’d written…it came from the heart and those words needed to get out there and this overrode everything else…I’m so glad I got over myself and did it!!!

Blogging and social media have opened my eyes to a whole new world that didn’t exist for me before and I have met the loveliest people along the way. I have met strangers in bars who I had only currently ever tweeted with (sounds dodgy I know!), I have been educated, I have been invited to speak at an event (eeek @EmmaBrowes), I have reached out and sought advice (thank you @HR_Gem), I have been coached and inspired (@KingfisherCoach), I have used blogs as a means of introducing people to me so they get a sense of who I am before we’ve even met, I have grown into a network where I can help other people connect too which I love (@Projectlibero @fuschia_blue)…it’s been nothing short of amazing!

So to those amazing people who have been part of my blogging and social media journey, who have supported and shared my blogs and for those of you who have read and enjoyed them…THANK YOU!

Unpacking my suitcase…how appreciation helped me on my journey!



I know I go on about it all the time but appreciation really does change everything. I often think the most powerful way of getting this across is by telling my own story.

A few weeks ago I celebrated my first year with OC Tanner. It was a great year, a challenging year, a scary year, an emotional year and lots of things in between. I’d moved from a company where the focus was always on ‘what you’re not doing’ to a company that really does focus on the positive. This was an amazing shift and exactly what I hoped it would be but I also didn’t quite trust it. I always had the fear that at some point, the truth would reveal itself and I would be in the grasp of another company who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.

“Unpack your suitcase’ said Ian

The amazing @Kingfishercoach (Ian Pettigrew) very kindly gave me some strengths coaching recently and he perfectly described how I felt…”I’d found my home but hadn’t unpacked my suitcase”! What a great analogy…there was a part of me holding back, a part of me just waiting a bit longer just to make sure it was right, that I fitted in, that it was the perfect company in every way. Ian’s suggestion to me was to go away, unpack my suitcase and be my big-hearted positive self! So I have and the positive reinforcement from my peers has helped me get there much faster.

Celebrating one year with OC Tanner

These are some of the things that people said at my one year anniversary…

“The most refreshing thing about you is your motivation and drive to really make a difference in the work place. You really DO want to create a better place to work for people and your passion for this is truly inspiring to me and the whole team”.

“I have to say you are one of the most passionate appreciateologists I have ever met. Your passion shines through every time you speak about our company and what we do. I am sure you have all seen the movie Miracle on 34th street where the little girl manages to get the whole of America to believe in Santa Claus one by one. This reminds me of Dawn and I picture her in a meeting speaking about OC Tanner and eventually everyone round the table saying ‘I believe’!”.

“Your energy and enthusiasm knows no bounds and I love the fact you’re so full of great ideas even if sometimes slightly on the wacky side and you’re always willing to go out of your way to help others’.

“You have only been here for one year but it feels like you have always been here. You are the glue that keeps this team together, always good for a hug, a coffee and a chat. I know you were right for OC Tanner when you kicked me under the table when I interviewed you!”

How do you think I felt when I heard these amazing things being said (and also printed off so I could keep and remember them!)…yep that’s right, on top of the world. I felt valued, I felt noticed, I felt that people really cared about me too and also that I fitted right in.

We do walk the walk here. We do practice what we preach. We are not perfect but what is perfect. What we are though is driven to make a difference. To get companies to go out and appreciate their people. To recognize what great work looks like and to tell people when they see it happening. To value the contributions that people make not just once but throughout the course of their careers. If I can help companies on that journey through my amazing job then that makes me happy!

How has appreciation made a difference for you?